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A few weeks ago a few of us were lucky enough to get along to the launch of Sofie Laguna’s latest adult novel, The Choke. Sofie spoke as an advocate for her characters, sharing their experiences and the world they inhabit. The Choke is set at the Murray River and tells the story of Justine as she grows up in a cruel world of poverty and violence.

Today we would like to share two fantastic review excerpts with you.

First up, Chris Gordon of Readings:

Laguna has beautifully captured the bewilderment of childhood and the emergence of adulthood in her character of Justine. It is so unquestionably heartbreaking. Reading becomes the sole purpose of the day. You cannot put the book down because you are immersed, completely and utterly, until the story finishes.

And from Helen Sullivan from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Laguna’s villains, like all of her characters, are sensitively drawn and terrifyingly real: deadly, damaged men to whom children and women cling in spite of themselves. Laguna is sensitive to the complexity of Justine’s relationship to her father. She is also unforgiving of his actions.

Justine becomes the target of violent revenge for her father’s crime. Pushed to the brink of death and sanity, she finally starts to fight back, and the slingshot is released. The Murray’s banks touch at the choke; the book races to the finish line. The stone Laguna lets fly ricochets inside you for days afterwards.

With our next Booked Out Book Club coming up we are all passing The Choke around the office with relish. We hope you will get a chance to read it too.

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